Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Extended Family Holiday - 5 tips to make it work

Last week I talked about the preparations for this holiday and now I have just crawled out of my darkened room I can tell you how it went last weekend.

Well, it worked *said with an amazed tone*, helped hugely by the fact that the British Summer finally arrived on 28th September and lasted right through until the 2nd October. This meant that we were not all on top of each other and the ankle biters could "burn off energy" ad infinitum outside.

The excitement beforehand and on arrival was inversely proportional to age. The grandparents (or "shrivelleds" as they became known, apparently my generation are the "wrinklies" or the "olds") were bombing down water chutes before any of the rest of us had battled our way through the UK motorway system to get there.

I had thought the combination of a one year old, 2 four year olds, a five year old, a seven year old, an eight year old and 3 teenagers was a recipe for all sorts of potential strife. I only once heard "he's not sharing" (and that was "Uncle A, H won't share your iphone with me", to which Uncle A jumped!), and I wasn't aware of any "they're leaving me out". Of course that could be because I am the mother of the teenagers, may be the other mothers had that whined in their ear. The little ones even allowed those lazy teenagers to sleep in without disturbing them, although they were a little astounded that anybody could possibly stay in bed THAT late - 10am, which my lot thought was early.

We attempted the family bike ride en masse.

We ate every meal outside and yes, there was enough

We swam...LOTS, we bowled and the Dads slept

Only hysterical incident was when a squirrel got in to one of the villas invoking much screaming and standing on tables by some of the girls (the oldest of which was 40!)

So really a success. The secret of our success? I'm not really sure but tips for anyone doing a multi-generational family holiday like this would be
1. Don't plan to do too many activities - it will take ages to get you all organised
2. Don't feel you must do everything together
3. Have meals planned and prepared beforehand, preferably by outside caterers!
4. Do whatever it takes beforehand, bribery, threats, whatever to all children and spouses to make sure they play nicely.
5. Take lots of alcohol and cake.

The devil eyes are a coincidence.....honestly

Would love to hear your experiences of these types of holidays. Please feel free to comment.